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Kayaking, Mountaineering and more in Antarctica

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In November of next year, I'll be heading for Antarctica on our Basecamp Antarctica Voyage. I'm excited about the flexibility this trip offers with all of its activities for different interests and abilities (as well as these reasons.) The vessel will stay for two or three days at different locations as a comfortable "base" to allow more time than usual for a range of activities such as mountaineering, hiking, photography workshops, camping, kayaking and zodiac excursions to explore near shores where the ship cannot go. Passengers who do not wish to be as physically active will enjoy the zodiac excursions, shore program and land excursions (easy to moderate walks and hikes with focus on wildlife). 

I'm especially looking forward to the photography workshops because I'm an amateur and I know the light conditions in Antarctica are different and I have a lot to learn. Kayaking is also one of my favorite sports and I can't wait to be surrounded by ice formations. Below is more detail on all of the adventures that are part of this trip.

Kayaking

Kayaking is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways to explore the shorelines, sea life and ice formations of this incredible region. Slip away from the basecamp vessel and glide through the quiet, calm waters of a secluded bay taking in the other-worldly beauty of Antarctica. Explore the rugged shorelines with snow-capped mountains towering above you, marvel at the untouched snowfields, and paddle past astounding icebergs that transform the water beneath you to a brilliant blue. Paddle among penguins, leopard seals and, if you're lucky, encounter a nearby whale. The ship provides necessary kayaking gear. Basic kayak experience is recommended and physical fitness is essential. An expedition kayak guide will supervise the activity and kayaks will be accompanied by a safety zodiac boat. 

Mountaineering

Push yourself beyond the usual Antarctic cruise activities and head out on one of the half or full day mountaineering excursions. This is a technical and more strenuous activity for mountaineers who wish to walk beyond the shore radius in order to reach higher grounds and viewpoints. Mountaineers walk in rope parties under the leadership of a certified mountain guide, mostly across glaciated environment in Antarctica. Mountaineering knowledge is preferable, but not required. Physical fitness is essential. Special glacier equipment will be provided: ropes and carabiners, harnesses, helmets, ice axes and crampons.

 Zodiac Cruising & Shore Program

At the core of this trip are the zodiac cruises and shore programs, which include guided shore excursions, walks and wildlife spotting. This is supplemented by lectures on board which cover topics such as wildlife or history by an international team of Antarctic experts and field guides to share their enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge. Topics include marine biology, geography, geology, glaciology, global warming and pollution, ornithology, and history of exploration to allow you to fully appreciate and understand the natural beauty and fragility of Antarctica. 

Field Camping

Take your Antarctic adventure one step further and camp out under the Antarctic sky in the world's coldest and most isolated wild land. Expedition guides designate campsites and assist guests in setting up tents, pads and sleeping bags. Necessary camping gear is provided, just bring warm clothes and a sense of adventure. This activity is available to any passengers willing to rough it for the overnight camp experience​, no previous experience is required. 

Hiking & Snowshoeing

Explore your way inland from the Antarctic shorelines with a variety of hiking and snowshoe expeditions designed for everyone. There will be easy, moderate and more demanding walks in the vicinity of the landing sites. Hikes will be guided by experienced expedition guides. Especially on early departures at the beginning of the season there are still snow covered hills and mountains further inland (North Spitsbergen) and close to shore (Antarctica). Snowshoes are easy to use and don't require any technical skills. They make it easier and safer to walk on snow surfaces.

Photo Workshop

Landscapes. Icebergs. Leopard seals, whales, and penguins. The stark beauty, unrelenting extremes, and the fragility of The White Continent is best preserved and shared through photographs. The photo workshops for beginners and advanced photographers is led under the supervision of a photo expert on board. Everyone is welcome to participate, no previous experience required. The work shop group will be taken on shore excursions whenever opportunities arise. During cruise days everyone will be able to listen into photo lectures in order to learn more about objects, exposures and photo composition. The workshop intention is to give an insight on better photo results by respecting basic rules of photography. Photographers can also take part in other activities of their choice. Read more about photography in Antarctica

I'm looking forward to this trip immensely - there is still room open for my departure Oct. 31-Nov 15 2019 - if you want to join me on this one-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica or give Laura Cahill a call at 800-345-4453 for other departures or view the trip itinerary here.

Keeping it wild,

Grettel Calderon

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